Elon Musk is to resign as chief executive officer of Twitter after the platform’s users voted for him to step down.
The tycoon vowed to stop leading the social media conglomerate, which he acquired two months ago in a $44 billion deal, to take over “as soon as I find a fool”.
Musk intends to retain oversight of the teams working on the software and servers, however, in a clear indication that he wants to remain involved in its day-to-day operations. This raises the possibility of an unorthodox working arrangement with his successor.
His departure would draw a line under a brief, but remarkable tenure. Since late October, Musk has halved Twitter’s workforce by laying off several thousand employees, struggled to push through sweeping changes and leaked internal documents about past decisions to a handful of journalists.
Twitter users voted decisively in a poll this weekend, with Musk, 51, set on whether he should step down; Out of 1.75 crore votes, 57.5 per cent votes were cast in his favour. Investors in Tesla, the electric car maker he leads, have grown concerned that the social network is distracting the billionaire from the rest of his empire. He also runs SpaceX, a rocket and satellite business.
“I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone stupid enough to take the job!” he wrote in a tweet on Tuesday evening. “After that, I’ll just run the software and server teams.”
Musk suggested that the results of the poll could be manipulated, and agreed that only paid users of Twitter should be able to vote on its future direction.
His announcement that he plans to step down will raise speculation about who might lead the network. Musk fired most of his previous top executives after completing his acquisition.
Over the weekend, he suggested that identifying someone else to run the business would be a challenge. “Nobody wants a job that can actually keep Twitter alive,” he wrote. “There is no successor.”